Wakame - Sea Vegetable And Its Health Benefits

The Wakame sea vegetable is an edible form of seaweed. On this page I would like to offer you a little bit more information about it. We will briefly discuss what it tastes like, ways to cook and eat it, and also some of the health benefits associated with it.

What is Wakame Sea Vegetable?

As mentioned above, it is an edible form of seaweed. It has been grown and consumed in Korea and Japan for hundreds of years. It has a subtle, sweet flavor and a slippery texture, and it is often served in soups and salads.

Wakame by Loozrboy, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Loozrboy - Wakame Salad with Radishes

How to Cook and Eat Wakame Sea Vegetable

To prepare Wakame, the leaves are cut into small pieces because they expand during cooking.  In Japan and Europe, Wakame is usually dried or salted and it is usually used in soups and salads. Sometimes it is used as a salad vegetable like a cucumber would be, and it may also be served as a side to a tofu dish. 

Wakame Udon by Yuya Tamai, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Yuya Tamai - Wakame in Udon Noodles

In America, Wakame is also known as "salad seaweed" and is a popular side dish at sushi restaurants.

The Health Benefits of Wakame Sea Vegetable

Wakame is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and is actually one of the best vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered an essential fatty acid because they are not made by the human body, but they are vital for normal metabolism, therefore we must get this particular nutrient through our diet or via supplementation. Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and may also play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Wakame is also a great source of calcium, iodine, thiamine and niacin. In Korea, Wakame soup is often given to women shortly after giving birth because of its high calcium and iodine content as these nutrients are important for nursing mothers. In addition to being a rich source of various nutrients, Wakame has been used for generations in Oriental medicine for blood purification, reproductive health, and even healthier skin and hair. Enjoy!